Weight vs. Tape: Why you need both.

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The doldrums is a nautical term that is used to describe an expanse of sea that has little to no wind, making hard to sail a ship. Weight-vereses-tapeThis typically happens around the equator. When I’m dieting I feel like I hit the doldrums – that sticky spot where my body likes to go ” yeah, we’re good here.”  My equator seems to be 150 pounds.   Oh sure I’ll get hopeful that week I weigh 148 but then it just doesn’t seem to budge. For weeks I’ve been bouncing between 150 and 148.  Grrrr.  Then I made a startling discovery.  I hadn’t taken my measurements for a few weeks so I decided I should do it again.  I’d lost 3 inches in my waist.  2 inches off my hips.  I’d also lost mass off my arms and legs.  While the scale hadn’t budged, my body had tightened up.  I was really surprised and relieved!  All my hard work was doing something, my body was still changing and responding, just not in the way I typically measure it. This lead me to a couple of conclusions:

  • Weighing yourself at the beginning of a change in diet will work and be encouraging – you typically lose the fastest at the beginning.
  • Always take your measurements.  At least measure your hips and stomach.  This is what I’m really after in the end is to be smaller, not lighter.
  • Weight is an easy measurement of success,  but given the choice of being 150 pounds and a size 6 or 130 pounds and a size 12 – I’m going to choose weighing more and having smaller measurements every time!

In the end a healthy lifestyle and measurements are what really matter, while a scale just measures my gravitational pull to the earth’s surface.  And if I were instantly transported to Venus I’d weigh in close my goal weight at 136 (but still be a size 10).   Weight is relative, measurements aren’t. So next time you hit the doldrums in your quest for fitness and health, remember before you step on the scales to check your tape measurements as well.  You might just be pleasantly surprised.

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